APJeT® plasma is generated at atmospheric pressure and industrial line speeds using inexpensive gases. Our plasma systems are carefully engineered to cause powerful chemical surface reactions without altering the bulk strength and other desirable properties of the substrate.
APJeT® is an expert at engineering plasma and optimizing the subsequent chemical reactions. These chemical reactions can be divided into two different primary categories, Plasma Activation and Plasma Coating. Plasma Activation involves a direct reaction between the plasma and the substrate.
Plasma Coatings involve a reaction between the plasma, the substrate, and an additional chemical finish.
What is Plasma?
Plasma is considered the fourth state of matter. It occurs when enough energy is added to gas molecules to liberate one or more of electrons from their electron cloud.
Molecules are composed of three parts, positively charged protons, negatively charged electrons, and neutral neutrons. Under normal conditions, the number of protons equals the number of electrons resulting in a net charge of zero. The molecule as a whole is considered quasi-neutral.
However, when the negatively charged electron escapes the electron cloud, the remaining molecule now has a positive charge.
The existence of positive and negative charges results in a plasma. Unlike a gas, the plasma is charged and can be affected by magnetic and electrical forces.
APJeT® is an expert at engineering plasma and optimizing the subsequent chemical reactions. These chemical reactions can be divided into two different primary categories, Plasma Activation and Plasma Coating. Plasma Activation involves a direct reaction between the plasma and the substrate. Plasma Coatings involve a reaction between the plasma, the substrate, and an additional chemical to create a coating or finish on the surface of the substrate.
Plasma Activation involves a direct reaction between a plasma and a substrate. APJeT® is an expert at engineering plasma to tailor this interaction to create the desired functionalities on a substrate’s surface. This can be achieved by changing plasma parameters such as power, duration, and gas composition. The combination of these variables can result in plasma systems capable of disinfecting surfaces or can create new chemical moieties on the surface of substrates.
Common chemical moieties include oxygen and nitrogen functional groups.
Oxygen functional groups increase the surface energy of a substrate and improve wetting.
Plasma Activated Hydrophilicity
APJeT® plasma systems can be used to increase the surface tension of a substrate, making it hydrophilic or water loving. When a substrate is introduced to a hydrophilic APJeT® plasma, oxygen functional groups are generated on the surface of the substrate. These groups increase polarity, causing water to be more easily absorbed.
These hydrophilic polar groups can improve dyeability and printability, reduce contact angle, increase wettability and promote superior adhesion.
Improved surface polarity can be beneficial to many applications. Learn more about hydrophilicity for Nonwovens, Fiberglass, and Films.
Plasma Coating & Finishing
Plasma Coatings involve a reaction between the plasma, the substrate, and an additional chemical to create a coating or finish on the surface of the substrate. Each finish is achieved with a proprietary blend of chemistry tailored to achieve the desired performance on the substrate.
First, the chemistry is applied to the surface of the substrate using a chemical applicator, such as spray or printing (DriStream). No wastewater is produced during this chemical application process.
Next the substrate enters the plasma region where the chemistry is cured to the substrate using only plasma (without any heat or elevated temperatures).
Without heat or water, the APJeT® process provides both a cost savings and environmental benefit. To learn more visit APJeT® Advantage.
APJeT®’s proprietary chemical coatings include the following functional finishes:
Durable Water Repellent, Antimicrobial, Wicking, Fire Retardant
Fire Retardant Coatings
APJeT®’s Fire Retardant coating provides textiles and other substrates with flame resistance. The proprietary APJeT® flame resistant chemistry is available in both halogenated and halogen-free options.
APJeT®’s unique patent-pending DriStream technology allows us to print and cure our proprietary Coatings & Finishing chemistry into patterns of varying concentration or shape. By printing alternating areas of hydrophilic and hydrophobic chemistry, we are able to control fluid-flow mechanics and direct moisture from one area to another.
One exciting application of this DriSTream technology is sweat channeling.
DriStream technology can also be used for other applications like personal hygiene and health care to control moisture content and fluid flow. DriStream also has unique aesthetic applications like in Emerge Swimwear.
Need a custom finish?
Contact us and our applications team will work with you to provide a solution for your specific application.